Taking Out the Tooth, but Protecting the Jawbone
- Posted on: Jun 15 2017
Many people have had a tooth extracted. For teens, it may be due to overcrowding before the placement of orthodontic devices. For others, the tooth may be overly damaged from trauma or have too much decay to save it.
But Dr. Miller goes beyond simply providing the extraction. He also plans for the future of that area of the patient’s mouth. He does this by preserving the jawbone where the tooth was extracted. Bone preservation can make a huge difference in the future placement of an implant, or in just preserving jawbone mass.
What is bone preservation?
Most people don’t know this, but as soon as a tooth is removed the jawbone beneath it begins to atrophy. This is because of an energy crisis of sorts. Extensive force is generated when a person bites or chews with his or her teeth. That energy moves down through the teeth into the jawbone beneath them. It is this energy that stimulates the jawbone to continually build new jawbone cells to replace old cells. This process keeps the jawbone in a continual state of cell replacement, which is the basis of healthy bone mass.
But when a tooth, or even worse a series of teeth, is missing that energy isn’t delivered through the teeth into the jawbone. That’s why the jawbone begins to deteriorate. If this process continues, the person begins to lose bone mass. That’s why a person who has been missing most or all of their teeth for some time appear as if their lower face has collapsed inwards. The jawbone has seriously deteriorated.
To head off that process, in most cases of extraction, Dr. Miller immediately places a bone preservation graft into the hole in the jawbone that the tooth root formerly occupied. This sets up the jawbone in that area for the future. Whether that future is the placement of a dental implant, or just to stem bone loss, this regeneration grafting keeps the bone mass healthy.
How does bone preservation work?
If the patient has an extraction, obviously the gum tissue is already open down into the jawbone. But if the tooth has been missing for an extended period, Dr. Miller makes a small incision in the gum and gently pulls the gum away from the bone. Next, he places regenerative bone grafting material into the hole occupied by the tooth root. In addition to the grafting material, Dr. Miller adds platelet-rich protein to stimulate growth and promote healing. From there, your body takes over, forming the healthy bone mass that will support a dental implant when placed.
Here’s what healthy regenerated bone mass does:
- It lays the groundwork for future dental restorations, particularly dental implants.
- It improves the longevity of future dental implants.
- It overcomes bone loss caused by periodontal disease.
- It improves facial support and prevents bone atrophy.
- It improves function, appearance, and confidence.
If you need a tooth pulled, or wonder about a tooth that has been missing for some time, give Dr. Miller a call at 503-640-9310. His expertise in bone regeneration could make your future oral health a much healthier proposition.
Posted in: Dental Implants